Curtis Strange knows what Nick Faldo is going through.

He's been there.Only last year, at Medinah, in suburban Chicago, Strange was in a similar situation, attempting to become the first man in 85 years to win three consecutive U.S. Opens.

This week, at Augusta National, it's Faldo's turn. He will be chasing an unprecedented third consecutive Masters title.

"In a way, it's the same, and in a way it isn't," Strange said. "I'd never even seen Medinah. Nick comes in knowing Augusta. He knows the course and he knows the tournament and he knows where he's going to be staying.

"That helps.

"And, at least up until this week, I don't think there's been quite the attention - and the pressure - on Nick there was on me."

Part of it, Strange said, involves timing. His run at a third U.S Open victory took place in June. Faldo's try comes three months earlier. So there's been less time for the buildup.

"He's smart the way he's handled it," Strange said, noting that in the first two months of the year Faldo was taking a break at home in England and limited himself to one newspaper and one television interview.

Faldo - as Strange was a year ago - has been besieged with requests for interviews, appearances, dinners since coming to the United States to start his season and his Masters preparations a month ago.

"There's pressure every day," Strange said. "The press and the public are aware of what's going on. It's difficult.

"And it's a compliment," he said. "There's more pressure because the press and the public honestly believe each of us has a chance to do it.

"If they didn't believe that, if I hadn't believed it and if Nick didn't believe it, there wouldn't be nearly as much pressure.

"But, gee, it's a hard thing to do - win one tournament three years in a row, let alone a major.

Strange had his chance. He was within two strokes of the lead after three rounds at Medinah, then faded over the back nine Sunday.

His advice to Faldo:

"The hard part is almost done. That's the buildup to the tournament. Once the flag goes up on Thursday, all that's behind you and the game takes over and that's fun," Strange said.

"Don't over-prepare. That's the No. 1 sin. He should just go about his business, play his practice rounds, hit balls, putt, whatever he feels he needs to do, and get out of there.

"He should stay as close as he can to his normal routine. Try not to get caught up in a lot of outside stuff. It's hard not to do that, I know, but that's what he should try to do.

"When it gets to Sunday, if he's still there, he has to be prepared to do anything he has to do. Don't ever give up.

"Nick's been there. He knows all that. He'll be OK."